The system to make station wagons extra interesting to SUV-crazed People is not precisely a secret. Take a daily wagon, add a couple of inches of floor clearance, staple on a tasteful serving to of exterior plastic cladding and, voila, your longroof is immediately extra fascinating. It is a blueprint that Volvo has used for its Cross Nation fashions for 20 years, and after spending a while with the 2019 V90 Cross Nation, I can say it nonetheless works fairly nicely.

Toughen up

The Cross Nation’s plastic cladding provides some good visible toughness to the already trendy V90. From a practicality standpoint, in addition they present additional physique safety, whether or not you are venturing off highway or simply dodging buying carts within the city jungle. Mix that with the easy and powerful physique traces, a reasonably “Thor’s Hammer” headlight remedy and new-for-2019 grille, and the entire package deal seems to be smashing.

The pumped-up stance helps, too. A 2.7-inch increased journey top offers the Cross Nation extra clearance to strike out into the wilderness. Whereas I did not journey out to the center of nowhere to totally take a look at off-pavement capabilities, I did trudge via a winter storm that introduced eight inches of snow to southeast Michigan. Right here, the additional top prevents the entrance decrease air dam from doubling as a snow plow.

The Volvo’s customary all-wheel drive system additionally is useful to cost via accumulation and make up for the 19-inch Pirelli Scorpion Verde tires’ not-so-stellar winter-weather efficiency. Even for an all-season tire, stopping distances are lengthy and grip round turns is disappointing, leading to plenty of tail-wagging motion. Fortunately, all-wheel drive does a superb job corralling issues round corners to maintain the Cross Nation shifting within the desired path with just a few small steering corrections. In order for you, managed drifts are potential. Not that I might know something about that, in fact…

On plowed, salted roads, the Cross Nation’s comfort-focused chassis tuning is tremendously appreciated. With 235/50 sequence tires, there’s some sidewall to assist clean out most highway imperfections, and my tester’s $1,200 rear air suspension makes issues a bit cushier, as nicely. After all, a extra compliant suspension and better heart of gravity does imply that there is noticeable, however managed physique roll in turns — barely greater than what you may get within the common V90. The steering is frivolously weighted and on the obscure facet, even with the automobile’s Dynamic mode activated, which is ok and matches the automobile’s cushier and relaxed vibe.

The Pirelli all-season tires assist ship good journey consolation, however are missing within the snow efficiency division.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

T6 trade-offs

Whereas the bottom V90 Cross Nation comes with the 250-horsepower turbocharged T5 four-cylinder, my tester packs the stronger turbo- and supercharged T6 powerplant. With 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque on faucet, there is not any scarcity of punch. Volvo claims the four,180-pound Cross Nation hits 60 miles per hour in plausible 5.eight seconds. Nevertheless, I do have points with how stated energy is delivered. There is a noticeable lull at throttle tip-in after which spastic energy supply all through the rev vary. An eight-speed computerized transmission bolts to the advanced engine that returns smooths shifts more often than not, however sometimes turns in some tough cog exchanges.

Collectively the drivetrain receives an EPA estimated gas economic system scores of 20 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 30 mpg on the freeway. Sadly, I did not get an correct real-world combined gas studying. All of the snow storm driving and prolonged warm-up durations in frigid temperatures threw issues off, however I nonetheless averaged 19.three mpg — not too far off from the EPA’s metropolis determine.

The turbo- and supercharged T6 engine is potent with 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

A comfortable, tech-filled cabin

Like the skin, the within of the Cross Nation is straightforward and classy. Environment are constructed from high quality supplies and the design gives simply the correct quantity of aptitude. A contrasting black and beige two-tone coloration scheme, open-pore darkish walnut wooden trim and silver accents present a very premium really feel. And with out query, Volvo seats are the perfect within the enterprise, possessing good assist some preliminary squish will allow you to sink into.

An ordinary panoramic sunroof makes the cabin gentle and ethereal, and house in each rows of seats is beneficiant. Being a wagon, cargo capability can be a robust swimsuit, with 25.5 cubic toes of actual property within the trunk space, which grows to 53.9 cubic toes with the second row folded. I put it to good use throughout a provide run for the Wong household restaurant, piling in 1,080 eggs, six packing containers of t-shirt baggage, paper towels, a case of commercial-grade Tide cleansing detergent and a bunch of different eatery odds and ends.

On the tech entrance, Volvo’s 9-inch, vertically-oriented Sensus touchscreen system takes care of infotainment options. Display graphics are crisp and the primary dwelling display simply will get you to frequent menus, with tiles for navigation, audio, cellphone and one for apps like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Spotify or Pandora.

The V90 Cross Nation’s cabin is superbly trimmed and massively snug.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Issues like local weather, heated seats and engine cease/begin are additionally managed via the middle display, which will be distracting as you progress via its myriad menus and shows. Disappointingly, Sensus continues to be sluggish besides, even with its quicker processor, inflicting me to attend impatiently to activate the bun heaters, dial up the thermostat and alter vent settings throughout this winter storm. Name me old style, however a couple of extra buttons and knobs on the middle stack to no less than management local weather could be simply high quality.

Since it is a Volvo, the V90 Cross Nation’s stage of security tech is powerful, with customary adaptive cruise management with lane-keep help, blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross site visitors alert and rear parking sensors. A $2,500 Superior Package deal beefs issues up additional with a 360-degree digital camera, adaptive headlights, head-up show and computerized parallel and perpendicular park help.

How I might spec it

I like energy simply as a lot as the following man, however the T6’s wonky supply is a turn-off. Due to that I will take the aforementioned turbo-only T5 in my V90 Cross Nation. With $54,940 base value, together with $995 for vacation spot, I might spring for a $645 Magic Blue Metallic paint job and $750 heated rear seat and heated steering wheel package deal as a result of Midwest winters will be brutal. That takes my supreme automobile’s price ticket to $56,345, considerably undercutting the $62,190 take a look at automobile you see pictured right here.

I will take my V90 Cross Nation with the bottom T5 engine.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

A distinct alternative

There’s so much to love in regards to the Volvo V90 Cross Nation. Barely extra all-weather and all-terrain efficiency with customary all-wheel drive and better journey top give it capabilities that can rival many crossovers. The taller stance and visible updo assist, too. The V90 additionally boasts loads of house, luxurious and luxury for an always-relaxing journey, irrespective of the state of affairs.

That the V90 Cross Nation will set you aside from the ocean of crossovers and SUVs is one other large promoting level. Automobiles just like the Audi A4 Allroad, Buick Regal TourX and Volkswagen Golf Alltrack do that at a lower cost, and Volvo will quickly promote a Cross Nation model of its V60 wagon, too. However in the event you fancy an enormous wagon with SUV utility and oodles of luxurious, the V90 Cross Nation is actually the one sport on the town.

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